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  • Circle Creek Therapy

Figure Ground Activities & Compensatory Strategies

Updated: Apr 17

Figure Ground is the skill that allows you to see and find certain objects or shapes in a busy or disorganized setting. Children who have difficulty in this area will have a hard time concentrating if there is too much content on a page, or if their environment is overstimulating.

Fortunately, our amazing occupational therapists have put together some activities for you to do with those who have trouble with the concept of figure ground. Enjoy!

Activities to do:

  • Play games such as Bingo which require you to look for a specific form.

  • Find hidden pictures in books such as Where’s Waldo, I Spy, or in the Highlights Magazines.

  • Find objects in a cluttered room or in a cluttered picture.

Compensatory Strategies:

  • When working on a chalk board, make sure it is erased well so that the child has less clutter to look at.

  • Keep their desk clear of distractions.

  • Sit their desk in an area closer to the front to avoid the distractions of other students and their desks (use a study carrel if needed).

  • Eliminate as much of the visually stimulating classroom wall decorations as possible, especially near their desk.

  • Have their homework area at home in a distraction-free place.

  • Keep interesting objects behind closed doors.

  • Don’t have a worksheet cluttered with “cute” decorations.

  • Place a colored place mat under the materials they’re working on.

  • Use a red marker to outline boundaries for coloring, mazes or cutting tasks.

  • Place only one activity on a page.

  • Make a construction paper screen or window to block out most of the page, so only one item is in view.

  • When working on puzzles, present one piece at a time and cover unneeded pieces of the puzzle.

If you would like to know more about occupational therapy at Circle Creek Therapy, please give us a call at 253.237.3405! We are always willing to answer questions.

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